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1776, from French oriol "golden oriole," Old Provençal auriol, from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus "golden," from PIE *aus- "gold" (see aureate). Originally in reference to the golden oriole (Oriolus galbula), a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). Applied from 1791 to the unrelated but similarly colored North American species Icterus baltimore.